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When time is not space: the social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture

Sinha, Chris LU ; da Silva Sinha, Vera LU ; Zinken, Joerg and Sampaio, Wany (2011) In Language and Cognition 3(1). p.137-169
Abstract
It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion. We challenge this assumption on the basis of our research on the Amondawa (Tupi Kawahib) language and culture of Amazonia. Using both observational data and structured field linguistic tasks, we show that linguistic space-time mapping at the constructional level is not a feature of the Amondawa language, and is not employed by Amondawa speakers (when speaking Amondawa). Amondawa does not recruit its extensive inventory of terms and constructions for spatial motion and location to express temporal relations. Amondawa also lacks a... (More)
It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion. We challenge this assumption on the basis of our research on the Amondawa (Tupi Kawahib) language and culture of Amazonia. Using both observational data and structured field linguistic tasks, we show that linguistic space-time mapping at the constructional level is not a feature of the Amondawa language, and is not employed by Amondawa speakers (when speaking Amondawa). Amondawa does not recruit its extensive inventory of terms and constructions for spatial motion and location to express temporal relations. Amondawa also lacks a numerically based calendric system. To account for these data, and in opposition to a Universal Space-Time Mapping Hypothesis, we propose a Mediated Mapping Hypothesis, which accords causal importance to the numerical and artefact-based construction of time-based (as opposed to event-based) time interval systems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Amazonian languages, conceptual metaphors, space, time, cognitive artefacts
in
Language and Cognition
volume
3
issue
1
pages
137 - 169
ISSN
1866-9859
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
37a546de-2e57-424b-8e03-94b83deb9aa7 (old id 3461357)
date added to LUP
2013-02-14 09:47:44
date last changed
2016-04-16 05:41:38
@article{37a546de-2e57-424b-8e03-94b83deb9aa7,
  abstract     = {It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion. We challenge this assumption on the basis of our research on the Amondawa (Tupi Kawahib) language and culture of Amazonia. Using both observational data and structured field linguistic tasks, we show that linguistic space-time mapping at the constructional level is not a feature of the Amondawa language, and is not employed by Amondawa speakers (when speaking Amondawa). Amondawa does not recruit its extensive inventory of terms and constructions for spatial motion and location to express temporal relations. Amondawa also lacks a numerically based calendric system. To account for these data, and in opposition to a Universal Space-Time Mapping Hypothesis, we propose a Mediated Mapping Hypothesis, which accords causal importance to the numerical and artefact-based construction of time-based (as opposed to event-based) time interval systems.},
  author       = {Sinha, Chris and da Silva Sinha, Vera and Zinken, Joerg and Sampaio, Wany},
  issn         = {1866-9859},
  keyword      = {Amazonian languages,conceptual metaphors,space,time,cognitive artefacts},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {137--169},
  series       = {Language and Cognition},
  title        = {When time is not space: the social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2011},
}